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École Polytechnique and the Weizmann Institute of Science sign a cooperation agreement

On May 26th, Jacques Biot, President of École Polytechnique (Palaiseau, France), and Daniel Zajfman, President of the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israël), signed a cooperation agreement aiming at developing and promoting collaborations between both institutions in the fields of higher education and research.

With this agreement, École Polytechnique (l’X) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS), renowned for their high standards of quality in terms of academics and research, seek to promote exchanges of students and faculty members as well as to foster scientific and academic cooperation regarding topics of common interest.

A laboratory initiated collaboration

Victor Malka, Research Director at the Laboratory of Applied Optics (LOA, a joint laboratory between École Polytechnique, ENSTA ParisTech and CNRS), who was appointed professor at the Department of Physics of Complex Systems of the Weizmann Institute of Science in October 2015, was committed to bring École Polytechnique and the WIS closer : « It felt natural to me to initiate this MoU so it would facilitate and promote students exchanges and create scientific cooperation. Both Presidents of Polytechnique and Weizmann Institute have fully endorsed this initiative, allowing it to be quickly successful. »

Victor Malka’s research deals with laser-plasma accelerators. This new accelerator concept, invented 30 years ago, has enabled researchers to obtain particle beams with unique properties. Very energetic, extremely bright and tunable in energy, these beams open new societal opportunities in diverse fields such as medicine, chemistry, biology, materials science, inspection and security.

Regarding medical applications, the recent improvements at the Laboratory of Applied Optics have opened the path to cancerous tumors treatment. In particular, these research projects give new perspectives for the detection of breast cancerous tumors at a very early stage or for the evaluation of the radiobiological interest of ionizing radiation. This new laser-plasma technology can also be used for industrial applications or in order to meet security demands as it produces high-resolution and 3-dimension images of dense materials like airplane parts for instance.

Victor Malka is currently working towards an association between the Laboratory of Applied Optics and the Department of Physics of Complex Systems of the WIS in the field of laser-plasma accelerators. He benefits from two grants from the Weizmann Institute of Science that he used to recruit two PhD students who have started their PhD at LOA.

ABOUT ÉCOLE POLYTECHNIQUE / École Polytechnique is the leading French institute which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its various undegraduate and graduate-level programs – Bachelor’s degree, Ingénieur Polytechnicien, Master’s, Graduate Degree, PhD program and PhD– are highly selective and promote a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science, anchored in humanist traditions. As a widely internationalized university, École Polytechnique offers a variety of international programs and attracts a growing number of foreign students and researchers from around the globe (currently 30% of students and 39% of faculty members).


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